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Human Rights Watch: Crimes Against Humanity in Xinjiang


The Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in the northwest region of Xinjiang, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The Chinese leadership is responsible for widespread and systematic policies of mass detention, torture, and cultural persecution, among other offenses. Coordinated international action is needed to sanction those responsible, advance accountability, and press the Chinese government to reverse course.
The 53-page report, “‘Break Their Lineage, Break Their Roots’: China’s Crimes against Humanity Targeting Uyghurs and Other Turkic Muslims,” authored with assistance from Stanford Law School’s Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic, draws on newly available information from Chinese government documents, human rights groups, the media, and scholars to assess Chinese government actions in Xinjiang within the international legal framework.
The report identified a range of abuses against Turkic Muslims that amount to offenses committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against a population: mass arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances, mass surveillance, cultural and religious erasure, separation of families, forced returns to China, forced labor, and sexual violence and violations of reproductive rights.
“Chinese authorities have systematically persecuted Turkic Muslims – their lives, their religion, their culture,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “Beijing has said it’s providing ‘vocational training’ and ‘deradicalization,’ but that rhetoric can’t obscure a grim reality of crimes against humanity.”
Crimes against humanity are considered among the gravest human rights abuses under international law.

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